Key social media trends for 2024 include the integration of technologies like Web3 and augmented reality (AR). AR VR social media platforms will be a future trend
Social media usage has grown tremendously over the years to hit 4.8 billion users globally as of December 2023. This means that at least 60% of the global population uses social media.
The number of new users is increasing rapidly with at least 10 people joining a social media platform every second. A study published by Kepios in October 2023 shows that over 213 million people have joined social media in the last year.
Moreover, a 2023 Deloitte study shows that Americans check their phones at least 46 times a day. Most of the screen time is spent on social media with Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and X being the most popular social media platforms.
Data from Global WebIndex reveals that the average daily social media usage is 2 hours and 24 minutes. But what is the driving force behind the massive social media evolution?
New technologies, more opportunities
Emerging technologies have made it possible for many functionalities to be included on social media platforms. These functionalities offer value beyond building personal connections.
A good example is Snapchat which introduced Snapcash functionality to allow its users to send and receive money over the platform. WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and X followed suit shortly by introducing their own payment methods. Snapchat has since discarded the Snapcash feature but the other social media platforms are still offering it.
Platforms such as TikTok are also taking innovation to another level by taking advantage of the human innate tendency to seek novel stimuli. They have done so by introducing addictive features such as auto-playing videos and infinite feeds.
These features get the user hooked for hours as they scroll through hundreds of short videos. TikTok has more than 1.2 billion users globally with more than 50 million daily active users.
A recent study shows that at least 6% of TikTok users are at risk of developing a serious addiction to the app. However, the social media addiction problem is insignificant compared to the many opportunities that arise from the dopamine-triggering experience.
A new dawn for content creators
Social media has also become a source of income for millions of content creators. Research by SignalFire reveals that there are over 50 million content creators on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, OnlyFans and other social media platforms.
The research further reveals that over 2 million content creators are full-time and earn six figures daily. Interestingly, 90% of the content consumed today is generated by individuals and not corporations.
YouTube still carries the day as the most popular platform for content creators. But it may lose its shine to innovative platforms such as TikTok if it stops innovating. YouTube introduced YouTube shorts in 2022 in the race to beat TikTok.
SignalFire predicts that the number of social content creators will double in the next few years. Behind this growth is Gen Z, which is quite individualistic and is more interested in owning their own personalities and not fitting in.
Gen Z is already the driving force behind OnlyFans, which is the world’s fastest-rising social media platform for content creators. According to Tech Report, the platform has over 210 million users and has paid more than $5 billion to content creators since 2016.
Many OnlyFans lookup sites state that it is the best-paying social media platform for content creators. On average, an OnlyFans user earns $42000 a year. The Tech Report research also reveals that most of the platform’s users are between the ages of 18 and 24.
OnlyFans boasts of over half a million registrations daily. The number of users is likely to shoot to the moon in 2024 as the platform launches more innovative features.
Social media trends to watch in 2024
With the rate at which the social media industry is growing, only the platforms that invest in innovation will survive.
The cutthroat competition is likely to lead to more innovation with the big players leading the way. But small platforms with financial muscle could also shoot to the moon if they beat the industry leaders on innovation.
Social media platforms that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) or blockchain are also likely to shine brightly in 2024. Many social media platforms are already working on tools that leverage the advancements in AI.
Facebook recently introduced a platform known as AI Studio to help its users build third-party AIs using its messaging app. TikTok is also working on an AI-powered virtual assistant to support users’ video creation journey.
The AI tool helps TikTok content creators brainstorm ideas, determine best practices, uncover trends, and find inspiration. Long-form videos may also make a comeback with Tiktok announcing that it will only be monetizing videos longer than 1 minute.
The social media behemoths are already pumping billions of dollars into research and innovation to keep up with the fast-growing industry.
Consequently, we can expect more groundbreaking social media innovations in 2024. Follow us to keep up with these developments as they are unveiled.